Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Elephant Shark Genome Sequence Leads To Discovery Of Color Perception In Deep-sea Fish

Date:
March 18, 2009
Source:
Agency for Science, Technology and Research (A*STAR), Singapore
Summary:
The elephant shark, a primitive deep-sea fish that belongs to the oldest living family of jawed vertebrates, can see color much like humans can. This discovery may enhance scientists' understanding of how color vision evolved in early vertebrates over the last 450 million years of evolution.

The elephant shark, a primitive deep-sea fish that belongs to the oldest living family of jawed vertebrates, can see color much like humans can.

This discovery, published in the March 2009 issue of Genome Research, may enhance scientists' understanding of how color vision evolved in early vertebrates over the last 450 million years of evolution.

"It was unexpected that a 'primitive' vertebrate like the elephant shark had the potential for color vision like humans. The discovery shows that it has acquired the traits for color vision during evolution in parallel with humans," said Byrappa Venkatesh, Ph.D., who with David Hunt, Ph.D., headed the research team responsible for this surprising discovery.

Dr. Venkatesh is a scientist at Singapore's Institute of Molecular and Cell Biology (IMCB), while Dr. Hunt is based at the Institute of Ophthalmology at University College London (UCL).

The research team found that the elephant shark had three cone pigments for color vision and, like humans, it accomplished this through gene duplication.

Dr. Venkatesh said that the finding underscores the research utility of the elephant shark, which IMCB scientists proposed in 2005 as a valuable reference genome to understand the human genome.

In a separate paper titled, "Large number of ultraconserved elements were already present in the jawed vertebrate ancestor," published in the journal Molecular Biology and Evolution in March 2009, the research team reported that they had discovered that the protein sequences in elephant shark were evolving at a slower rate than in other vertebrates.

This finding indicates that the elephant shark had retained more features of the ancestral genome than other vertebrates belonging to the same evolutionary tree and hence was a useful model for gaining insight into the ancestral genome, in which the human genome also has its roots.

In several scientific publications, Dr. Venkatesh's team has described research showing that the human DNA sequence was more similar to elephant shark than to any other fish.

Dr. Venkatesh added, "We expect the sequencing of the whole genome of the elephant shark to be completed by early 2010, the availability of which will then enable scientists to explore the important functional elements in both the human and elephant shark genome that have remained unchanged during the last 450 million years of evolution."

The findings reported in Genome Research and Molecular Biology and Evolution were generated less than two years after IMCB secured National Institutes of Health funding to sequence the whole genome of the elephant shark.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Agency for Science, Technology and Research (A*STAR), Singapore. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal References:

  1. Davies, W.L., Carvalho, L.S., Tay, B., Brenner, S., Hunt, D.M. and Venkatesh, B. Into the blue: gene duplication and loss underlie colour vision adaptations in a deep-sea chimaera, the elephant shark Callorhinchus milii. Genome Research, 2009; 19: 415-426 DOI: 10.1101/gr.084509.108
  2. Wang, J., Lee, A.P., Kodzius, R., Brenner, S. and Venkatesh, B. Large number of ultraconserved elements were already present in the jawed vertebrate ancestor. Molecular Biology and Evolution, 2009; 26: 487-490 DOI: 10.1093/molbev/msn278
  3. Venkatesh, B., Kirkness, E.F., Loh, Y.H., Halpern, A.L., Lee, A.P., Johnson, J., Dandona, N., Viswanathan, L.D., Tay, A., Venter, J.C., Strausberg, R.L. and Brenner, S. Survey Sequencing and Comparative Analysis of the Elephant Shark (Callorhinchus milii) Genome. PLoS Biology, 2007; 5 (4): e101 DOI: 10.1371/journal.pbio.0050101
  4. Venkatesh, B., Kirkness, E.F., Loh, Y.H., Halpern, A.L., Lee, A.P., Johnson, J., Dandona, N., Viswanathan, L.D., Tay, A., Venter, J.C., Strausberg, R.L. and Brenner, S. Ancient Noncoding Elements Conserved in the Human Genome. Science, 2006; 314 (5807): 1892 DOI: 10.1126/science.1130708

Cite This Page:

Agency for Science, Technology and Research (A*STAR), Singapore. "Elephant Shark Genome Sequence Leads To Discovery Of Color Perception In Deep-sea Fish." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 18 March 2009. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/03/090317162844.htm>.
Agency for Science, Technology and Research (A*STAR), Singapore. (2009, March 18). Elephant Shark Genome Sequence Leads To Discovery Of Color Perception In Deep-sea Fish. ScienceDaily. Retrieved August 20, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/03/090317162844.htm
Agency for Science, Technology and Research (A*STAR), Singapore. "Elephant Shark Genome Sequence Leads To Discovery Of Color Perception In Deep-sea Fish." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/03/090317162844.htm (accessed August 20, 2014).

Share This




More Fossils & Ruins News

Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Disquieting Times for Malaysia's 'fish Listeners'

Disquieting Times for Malaysia's 'fish Listeners'

AFP (Aug. 19, 2014) Malaysia's last "fish listeners" -- practitioners of a dying local art of listening underwater to locate their quarry -- try to keep the ancient technique alive in the face of industrial trawling and the depletion of stocks. Duration: 02:29 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Mother And Son Find Woolly Mammoth Tusks 22 Years Apart

Mother And Son Find Woolly Mammoth Tusks 22 Years Apart

Newsy (Aug. 15, 2014) A mother and son in Alaska uncovered woolly mammoth tusks in the same river more than two decades apart. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Fossils Reveal Ancient Flying Reptile With 'Butterfly Head'

Fossils Reveal Ancient Flying Reptile With 'Butterfly Head'

Newsy (Aug. 14, 2014) Newly found fossils reveal a previously unknown species of flying reptile with a really weird head, which some say looks like a butterfly. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Clearing WWII's Explosive Legacy in the Pacific

Clearing WWII's Explosive Legacy in the Pacific

AFP (Aug. 11, 2014) The hulks of tanks can still be found rusting in the jungles of Palau, but the fierce fighting that scarred the Pacific island nation in WWII has left a more dangerous legacy - unexploded bombs that pose a constant risk to locals. Duration: 00:47 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:
from the past week

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins